On Byet Dwarka jetty I was standing on my own. Sun was setting on the horizon. I took a series of photos and videos. The one below is a 60 min shot of setting sun on the sea.
I think one of the reason, Mr. Modi got a massive mandate in 2014 general election because he presented an alternative vision in front of the nation, that of development, jobs, and raising poor from the shackles of poverty by empowering them. It can be argued that 1.5 years may be too short a time to get out of a mindset created over 60 years. Somewhere down the road it was forgotten that mandate was not for politics of intolerance, politics of division and politics of intolerance. Prime Minister reiterated the same in his speech in Bihar election campaign.
Prime Minister is one of the most articulate politician in the country. He can charm people when he wants to. Tumultous response in public functions abroad testify to this. Prime Minister expresses his opinion on a range of subjects on social network. He can condemn tragedies around the globe. Yet the same Prime Minister did not utter a word of condemnation on brutal lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri. Our Prime Minister was not hesitant to show his sensitive side in Face Book headquarter in California. Yet the same Prime Minister does not utter a word on farmer suicide! Is our prime minister forgetting that Indian citizens had voted for him. Any amount of adulation by crowd is New York, Melbourne, London will not help him in election, let it be state or central.
It appears that in his quest to protect his image as a clean person, Prime Minister has given an image of being inaccessible and aloof. Prime Minister does not interact with media often while in India. In this day and age of 24/7 TV news, by not managing discourse Prime Minister is losing the battle of perception. Congress party has learnt the art of managing media narrative. By cultivating high profile intellectuals, writers, editors, congress party has mastered the art of managing media narrative. Despite, so many sins congress is considered a secular party. Anything party leaders say, gain traction with media. The same is not true with BJP.In other mature democracies too, politicians talk to media at regular intervals. White House even throws party for media where President of the US interacts with media. Without having a media manager and without interacting with news channels, BJP will completely loose the battle of perception. Same bad news can be made to sound worse or neutral depending on how one delivers and how one analyses.
In two state elections where BJP got a drubbing, the party ignored local leadership. I think, PM Modi, like Indira Gandhi, wants hand picked people who will follow his agenda. However, in 2015 such a an idea may not work. There has to be leaders who can be projected to be honest, sensitive and cognisant of local sense and sensibilities. In Bihar election, it appears that Prime Minister harped on lack of electricity, where every Bihar house hold gets at least 20 hours of power supply.
It is also possible that thought process of Western Indian may be different from the same in the East. It may be possible that Bihari and East Indian voters may prefer peace over prosperity. As a result Modi’s fast development did not get traction over Nitish’s inclusive growth but slow growth. India is a very heterogenous country. One size fits all may not be the correct strategy for all elections. There comes the need for locally grown leadership.
I think it is important that Prime Minister carries on with his development agenda. Prime Minister must work to smoothen his image and convey his message by showing more empathy for poor and weak at the same time showing his iron fist for the corrupt and venal.
1. Renuka Devi Temple
2. Tata Salt Factory at Meethapur
3. Byet Dwarka
4. Jyotirlinga Shiva
5. Gopi Talao
6. Gomti Ghat
Renuka Devi was the favourite wife of Lord Krishna. A temple has been created in her honour. Shown below a panoramic view of the temple and its sorroundings. Once inside the temple, a brief history of the temple is described.
Shown above is the jetty of Byet Dwarka. The flag indicates temple of Dwarkadheesh. Nowadays, auto-rickshaws ply from jetty to temple and back. They charge twenty rupees per person one way.
I did not go up the temple. I stayed back on the jetty to take a shot of sun set. We took the return ferry back to the mainland.
Our plan was to dump our luggage in the hotel, take some rest and move to Byet Dwarka. We wanted to visit Dwarkadheesh first thing next morning. But some members insisted not to budge an inch without touching feet of Dwarkadheesh first. So we went on to the temple. Since our last visit, the temple premises has been renovated and reorganised. Mobile phones, camera and leather belts are not allowed in the temple. So one has to deposit them first. Shoes had to be deposited in a different counter. We decided to take turn in visiting the temple. Always one person stayed guard on camera, mobile and shoes. This time I had the opportunity to have a darshan at 11.20 am slot on the day of arrival. I could also have a darshan the next day at 6.30 am mangal arti. One has to walk bare feet towards the temple gate. After a body search one is allowed entry into the temple complex. Apart from the central temple of Dwarkadheesh, there are many other temples in the complex.
Dwarkadheesh is the ruling deity of Dwarka. He is the king of Dwarka and he is treated like one. From morning waking at 6 in the morning till noon he performs different activities like snan (bathing), shringar (dressing up), bhog (partaking a meal) etc. At the time lord is engaged, his idol is draped in a curtain. Once an activity is over, one can have a darshan (meet the lord). Between 1 pm to 5 pm in the afternoon is the time for lord to relax. So there can be no darshan at the time. Temple closes at 10 PM in the evening for lord to call it a day. A detailed list of darshan timings is available on the net. Briefly, in the morning one can have darshan at the following times :
6.30 Mangla Arti
7.00 to 8.00 Mangla Darshan
9.00 to 9.30 Shringar Darshan
9.45 to 10.15 Shringar Darshan
10.30 to 10.45 Shringar Arti
11.20 to 12.00 Darshan
12.20 to 01.00 Darshan
At the time of darshan, there are two separate lines for men and women. Senior citizens are allowed to enter through a less crowded entry point. General enclosures are very crowded. Devotees go into a frenzy with chant of “Dwarkadheesh ki Jai” and “Ranchod ji ki Jai”. Many raise their arms as if to draw attention of the lord that they have also arrived to pay a visit. Gradually, line moves ahead. In front of the lord one hardly gets 30 – 45 sec. Give your offering of sweets and/or money, do a pranam. Priest offers the item to lord and returns the same or some other item as prasad.
After darshan, we went back to hotel which was booked in advance. Hotel Shri Darshan is an average budget hotel. Rooms were fitted with air conditioner and television. Bathroom was cramped but usuabl. On the positive side, rooms came with complementary breakfast in the small restaurant in the hotel. After taking our bath and lunch, we set out for seeing rest of Dwarka.
- Good cast combination employed by Mahagathbandhan;
- RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement on reservation;
- Beef politics and attempt at polarisation of vote along communal and caste lines;
- Increased intolerance in the society;
- Arrogance of Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah;
- Non projection of any local BJP leadership;
- Popularity of Mr. Nitish Kumar as an inclusive leader;
- Poor delivery of promises made by Mr. Modi in Lok Sabha election;
Modi has started a narrative of development, a discourse on all of us being an Indian first. Listen to Shazia Ilmi Nd Chiragh Paswan. These people do not want to be identified as a Muslim or a Dalit. They aspire to be an Indian politician /leader. I hope BJP defeat does not mean defeat of this idea of aspirational India, and we are back to caste, community, religion based politics. It would be unfortunate because most political outfits would adopt such a tactic at a time when youth of India are responding to politics of development.
I think, PM and BJP should have stuck to message of development even in the face of attempt to polarise electorate. That way, PM could have come out as a statesman convinced of his idea. Instead, PM resorted to cow and reservation politics that too in a very clumsy way. If a non Bihari voter, a sympathiser, can feel uncomfortable sitting in Delhi, less said about people that are going to vote. I also think, PM should have and from now on must speak against loud mouthed morons of his party. If not, BJP may be out of power sooner than we think.
I had reserved hotel President at Jamnagar for our stay. Hotel was a budget hotel, reasonably clean and polite staff. Rooms had air-conditioning. Bathrooms were clean and modern.
Jamnagar was founded in 1540. It was one of the most important Princely states ruled by the Jadejas. Ajay Jadeja, former Indian cricket captain, belonged to the Jadeja family of Jamnagar. Jamnagar has two petrochemical refineries. One of Reliance and the other of Essar. There are a few interesting places to visit in the city. However, to visit places like wild life and marine life sanctuaries, one needed more time. We visited two sites in the limited time we had. First one was Ram Dhun temple or Bala Hanuman Temple which was built by the side of Lakhota Palace and surrounding lake.
Ram Dhun temple is famous for it not stop chanting of Ram Naam – Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram. Since its consecration to the name of Sri Ram in 1964, till 2014 and beyond Ram Naam chanting never ever stopped in this temple. The temple has entered Guiness Book of Records for such performance.
|Bala Hanuman Temple or Ram Dhun Temple|
|Ram Dhun Temple|
|Butterfly Spreading its Wings|
Main sight seeing spots covered in the package are the following, not in the order of appearance:
1. Adalaj ki baoli,
2. Akshardham temple at Gandhi Nagar,
3. Kankariya lake,
4. Lal Darwaja Market,
5. Sabarmati Ashram,
6. Sabarmati river front walk,
7. Sidi Sayyad Masjid, and
8. An array of temples – Balaji temple, ISKON temple, Sai Narayan temple, Vaishno devi temple.
9. Sun Temple at Motera. This is not part of city tour because this temple is in Mehsana, which is around 100 km away from Ahmedabad.
|A View of the Well from Top Floor|
I was initially reluctant to go down the stairs to the bottom of the well. Shown below are the stairs and different levels leading to the bottom of the well.
|A View of Stairs Leading to Top of the Well|